A few things have to happen to get maximum acceleration out of the Demon. First of all, ideal track conditions. These were found at Gainesville, where a 9.65-second quarter mile at 140 mph was certified by the National Hot Rod Association as the fastest quarter-mile time ever recorded by a production car.
Next, the buyer is going to have pop for another $1 (yes, one dollar) for the Demon Crate, which includes some skinny wheels for the front, a different powertrain controller and tools. The rear tires are street-legal drag racing tires adapted specifically for the Demon. Achieving highest horsepower requires 100-octane gas.
Engineers shaved weight wherever they could, so the dollar gimmick extends to the deleted passenger seat, rear seat, or trunk carpeting, optional for a dollar each. A list of more traditionally priced options is offered with the limited production of 3,000 Demons (plus 300 for Canada).
Driving the same on-road loop with a Demon and a Hellcat showed the Demon has a softer ride and less engine noise when cruising. The fat sticky tires were noisier on grooved pavement and made on-center steering response slower.
Pundits criticize the Challenger as an aging platform, but Dodge has kept things interesting with an array of variants. Drag racing is the last vestige of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' dwindling involvement in motor sports, and the Demon proves there's some real engineering talent in the ranks of SRT.
2018 DODGE CHALLENGER SRT DEMON AT A GLANCE
Vehicle Type: RWD two-door coupe
Base Price: $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax)
As tested: $84,997 (exluding $1,095 destination)
Mpg: 13 city, 22 highway
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Parting Shot: The most decadent vehicle you can buy for under $100,000.
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